Feb 13, 2009
Engineering|Gold|Africa|Consulting|Engineering News|Mining Weekly|PROJECT|Water|Africa|Brazil|India|Namibia|South Africa|USD|Mponeng Mine|Mining|Indaba|Martin Creamer|Tim Modise|Water|Engineering News|Mining Weekly|Sub-Saharan Africa|Futuristic Technology
© Reuse this
Modise: South Africa has burst through the 28-year-old, 3 777-metre barrier and has set a new world record mining at depth. Tell me more.
Creamer: South Africa has set a new record and the Guinness Book of Records has been notified and it is official that we have burst through the 3 777-metres, that is 3,7 km.
The good news is that this has happened out at the far West Rand, the Mponeng mine, it is the AngloGold Ashanti group. Important is that this has been done cheaply. In other words we can say that ‘deep can be cheap’.
We can see that Mponeng mine is actually producing at a cash cost of $222 per ounce. That is even lower then many shallow mines. So it is a brilliant achievement to have a cash cost that low. We are looking at the gold price now in the $900 per ounce, can you imagine your costs are $222 per ounce, the margin of profit is unbelievably attractive.
Also, it seems that as they go deeper they are finding higher grade and this is also helping. But, gold is the flavour of the month at the moment. At the Mining Indaba we just had gold companies coming through with increased production and more activity and we see that the price is continuing to rise and people seeing it as a safe haven throughout the world.
Many say that it will touch the $1 000 an ounce mark.
Modise: Moving from mining then to nanotechnology. South Africa, India and Brazil launching a news partnership to study this not so widely known technology.
Creamer: Nanotechnology is the study of things very tiny, you can’t even see them with the naked eye, sometimes you can’t even see them through very powerful microscopes. They are saying that we need to actually get to know more about this futuristic technology, which could have more impact than the introduction of computers.
A lot of people are waiting, in the next 20 to 30 years, for breakthrough. They feel that nanotechnology will be able to uplift poor communities particularly, because it will give a lot more empowerment to people to do things for themselves.
What we are looking at now are countries, South Africa, India, Brazil, cooperating in a partnership in this nanotechnology. Our Science and Technology Minister is wanting our country to be a leader in nanotechnology and setting-up the African Nano Centre and making sure that Southern African Region and Africa gets involved in this, but that the Nano Centre makes sure it keeps in touch with the world as well so that we can lift our human resource development.
The first big meeting will take place in India, they will take the lead and host a nanotechnology and water workshop coming up in May this year.
That will be followed by another, which will be Nanotechnology and Health and that will be in South Africa in November, each of them taking a turn to lift up a notch in nanotechnology which is seen as something that can really uplift disadvantaged people, but something that is well in the future but we should keep in touch with, because of a potential breakthrough.
Modise: An ambitious groundwater study is under way in neighbouring Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa. This may yield some benefit.
Creamer: Water has always been key, but as economies need to grow, water becomes even more crucial. When you have got a dry country like Namibia you have to make sure that you are ambitious about finding out exactly how much water you’ve got.
South Africa did a similar groundwater study in 2005 to 2007 and that was done by a consulting engineering company SRK. Namibia is keen now to bring SRK over as the lead consultant to lead the way in this ambitious groundwater study project.
They know where the aquifers are, but they don’t know the volumes of water there. If you don’t know the volumes of water, then you don’t know how much your industry and grow and how much you can grow in urbanisation.
Before they cast their eyes to the sea – which they have been doing to desalinate and to get that water, even some mining companies are getting water from the sea – they want to know exactly how much groundwater they’ve got.
They are going through with this study which will be similar to South Africa’s GRA 2 in order to ascertain exactly how much water they have got under the surface and how sustainable it is to actually depend on it for economic growth and development.
Modise: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News and Mining Weekly, he’ll be back with us at the same time next week.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Updated 6 minutes ago South Africa's greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions continue to rise, but are on track to meet targets the country agreed to at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen five years ago, government said on Tuesday. Responding to a question at a briefing in Pretoria,...
Updated 23 minutes ago The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the University of Venda, have signed a R300-million loan agreement for the construction of on-campus student accommodation at the university’s Thohoyandou campus, in Limpopo. With an estimated cost of R448-million,...
Updated 2 hours 13 minutes ago The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has called on interested parties to lodge written representations in relation to Vodacom’s proposed R7-billion buy-out of converged communications network operator Neotel within 21 days. Icasa outlined...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
While Ekurhuleni-based transformer manufacturer Reliable Transformers currently designs, manufactures and tests its products according to the SANS 780 specifications for distribution transformers and other applicable transformer specifications, it is working towards...
Global endpoint security solutions company Kaspersky Lab has introduced new measures to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data, alongside its malware-signature and heuristic device analysis detection methods. Threats to mobile devices have increased...
To ensure uptake and a positive impact, Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks in cities must be provided at schools, community centres and commercial centres to enable citizens and government to access information that will improve access to and delivery of services....
Eco-estate Monaghan Farm, located near Lanseria airport, north-west of Johannesburg, has taken a new approach to modern living and sustainability with its 517 ha development, dedicated to farm living.
Forklift and lift-truck distributor Goscor Lift Hi-Reach launched the Genie SX-180, the tallest self-propelled super boom in Africa, in Johannesburg last month. “As the official distributor of the well-known Genie range of equipment in Southern Africa, we are pleased...